- Massachusetts Probation Service
Media Contact for 12th Annual HEAT Conference to explore current opioid and substance abuse trends
Coria Holland, Communications Director
WOBURN, MA — More than 300 law enforcement, Massachusetts Probation Service, and treatment and health services professionals are scheduled to attend the 12th Annual HEAT (Heroin Education Awareness Task) Force Conference to discuss the latest substance abuse trends and new approaches to dealing with the opioid epidemic. The conference is Friday, June 15, 9 am, at the Hilton Hotel Boston/Woburn.
Since its inception, HEAT has educated more than 8,000 people about opioid addiction and has helped 3,200 individuals find treatment.
HEAT Conference presenters will explore a range of substance and addiction-related topics that range from current Emergency Room trends, the new marijuana and THC legislation and laws, and community collaboration and law enforcement. Several youths in recovery will also share their stories of addition and rehabilitation.
HEAT was developed to help educate parents about their children’s addiction, including providing tips on what to look for if a relative is using drugs. Its primary mission is education, prevention, and treatment of substance abuse, according to Woburn District Chief Probation Officer Vincent Piro, a co-founder of the HEAT Program.
“Overdose rates continue to increase amidst bulk arrests and repeated efforts of our law enforcement and our entire community. There are not many people in our state never mind country that have NOT been affected by this devastating addiction. The battle to educate and change lives continues,” Piro said.
Piro established HEAT with now retired Probation Officer Michael Higgins, who currently works as a Substance Abuse Coordinator for the town of Billerica. Higgins will discuss continued efforts in networking education, treatment, and partnerships in the community.